Antioch Institute Philippines has been very successful and is meeting great needs of rural pastors on Mindanao. In late November we had a gathering of the students from 2010. The 350 leaders are all trainers who each run their own Antioch Institute training programs in their area. Some of the schools are small with only 10 students or so, while others run nearly a hundred students.
Statistics never tell the whole story; but look at what these leaders accomplished through God’s grace this year along:
- Churches started (with church building built): 116 churches
- Home Churches started: 156
- Number of New Salvations: 1,409
- Number of those baptized: 609
- Number of other leaders receiving training: 1,071
- Number of regional Antioch Training Centers: 6
- Number of Antioch Extension Centers: 235
Just to add to the significance, when you compare the results to our training and resource budget for the Philippines, it cost us $275 per church started. That’s a pretty good deal!
Let me tell you some of the amazing individual stories:
One of the students started a small 25 watt radio station and started teaching the Antioch Institute curriculum on the air and then meeting together once a month with the local pastors to discuss the materials further. He is hoping to extend the power of his radio station so he can reach more pastors in the province.
Another leader started teaching the Antioch lessons at a local school for their “values education” courses. Some of kids have come to Christ. Some 600 students are studying which we never count in any report.
Another group of leaders started meeting together with nearly one hundred other leaders in their tribe. Another group, which previously had built an agricultural training center, donated the entire center to the leaders to use (with deed!) We need to expand the center to build a bigger training hall, but the seven buildings are great for the leaders.
To me the greatest blessing is to see these leaders grow in confidence. They are all tribal leaders in Mindanao. They come from some 25 different tribes. Unfortunately, many city pastors look down on the tribal pastors because of their strange customs, different language, and simple lifestyle. To see them have the confidence to start hundreds of churches and lead thousands of people to Christ has been a blessing. Honestly, the city churches would be wise to learn much from them. Next year, we will continue the training with many new courses added to the current dozen we are teaching. The leaders there are continually wanting to expand the training to new areas and use their own resources to do so which makes it very easy to help them.